Professors to debate the future of Electoral College

Wed, 08/20/2008 (All day)

MOBILE, Ala. – Professors from Spring Hill College and the University of Mobile will participate in a debate on the future of the Electoral College during Constitution Day events on Wednesday, Sept. 17. They will discuss the past, present and future of the current Electoral College system of selecting the United States president.

The public is invited to the debate which will begin at 10 a.m. in Weaver Auditorium on the UM campus. High school history and political science classes are encouraged to attend. A limited number of reservations will be accepted for a complimentary lunch in the university dining hall following the event. For luncheon reservations or more information, call the University of Mobile at (251) 442-2280.

The professors will continue the discussion during a 3:30 p.m. “teach-in” in the Grill Room of the Spring Hill College Campus Center building. The public is invited to attend. For more information on the teach-in, call Spring Hill College at (251) 380-4184.

Dr. Julie Biskner, assistant professor of political science at UM, said the debate is a fitting way to recognize Constitution Day, also known as Citizenship Day, which celebrates the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Biskner will serve as moderator and will present a brief explanation of the history and current status of the Electoral College system.

Dr. Tom Hoffman, assistant professor of political science at Spring Hill College, will debate the need to eliminate the Electoral College and discuss possibilities of reforming the process of electing a president. Billy Hinson, professor of history and chair of the UM Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will debate the necessity of keeping the current system and offer some revisions that could make it even more viable.

Hoffman received his doctorate in political science from Indiana University in 2004 and joined the Spring Hill College faculty in the fall of 2007, where he teaches courses in American politics and political theory and serves as pre-law advisor. Hoffman has published several journal articles on public opinion and the ideal of a “rational public” in modern, mass democracies. His recent research has focused on Enlightenment Era debates over citizenship and civic virtue, specifically on Scottish philosopher David Hume’s contribution to modern, liberal notions of citizenship.